Charles Atlas (1892-1972), "self-made man", trained himself to develop his body from that of a 'scrawny weakling', eventually becoming the most popular muscleman of his day. His company, Charles Atlas, Ltd. (founded 1929 and continuing today) markets a fitness program for the "97-pound weakling", a registered trademark.
Born Angelo Siciliano in Aci, in southern Italy, he moved to Brooklyn, New York at a young age. Initially a small, weak child, Siciliano worked hard to tone his muscles, using a variety of weights. He acquired a physique that earned him the nickname "Charles Atlas", after the mythical Atlas, the Titan who held up the heavens. He later filed for and received trademark status for the name. He soon took the role of strongman in the Coney Island Circus Side Show. Contemplating the strength of a tiger in a zoo, he had conceived the idea of working muscle against muscle, rather than working out with weights. This system was later dubbed Dynamic tension.